UPDATE - No Longer Demoralized. Down from 12 to 7.3 Handicap in 8 Months.

DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
edited Aug 12, 2019 3:13pm in Instruction & Academy #1

I am playing around a 10 and spend about 3-4 hours practicing during the week with one round each weekend. I thought I had broken through this week, knocking down flags left and right on the range all week, including hitting the 250 yard pole twice with my driver during warmups for my opening round of our club's summer match play.

I open up with a perfect drive on 1 leaving myself 75 yards in, stick it to 7 feet and make birdie to go 1-up. It would be the only birdie I would have all day, as I ended up going 8/18 GIR with three 3-putts and two doubles on my way to shooting an 84.

My opponent shot an 81 and I was GIVING 3 strokes. I tied him gross on all 3 of his stroke holes, so I lost all 3 net. Got smoked 5&4. Wasn't even competitive.

I don't even know that I am looking for advice. Just ranting at how I can have that moment of clarity during the week where you feel like you can't miss and are hitting the ball like a 2 cap and then go out on the course and it falls apart.

Post edited by DLev45 on
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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Victim of the first hole birdie curse!

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  • tjw018tjw018 Lefty Boomers Posts: 190 ✭✭✭

    That sucks! An 84 while you're playing off a 10 can't be that bad a score though can it? An 81 as a 13 is probably one of his better rounds of the year I'd imagine...unless this is a really easy course...

  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
    edited Jun 17, 2019 4:29pm #5

    @tjw018 said:
    That sucks! An 84 while you're playing off a 10 can't be that bad a score though can it? An 81 as a 13 is probably one of his better rounds of the year I'd imagine...unless this is a really easy course...

    84 is a differential of about 11. 70.5/131 at 6,200. Course is actually designed by Robert Trent Jones, but it isn't a trail course.

    My previous 5 were 79/82/80/81/80 coming in. But the practice sessions this week had far exceeded the sessions the previous weeks were I was hovering around 80, so my expectations were much higher and I thought I was turning a corner. I'm a 10 who thought he was headed towards 7 and it was just a matter of getting enough rounds in.

  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭

    @musclefront said:
    welcome to competitive golf.....as the great Bobby Jones said, "there's golf and there's competitive golf."

    I did have 35 putts, where I had average 31 over my 5 previous rounds coming into the match, all at the same course. I putted like pure doo-doo with the lights on. I lost 2 holes with missed 5-footers for par.

  • rafalrafal Members Posts: 5,865 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't play net matchplay (nor net anything for that matter) . Had 20 HCP drop 8 pars in a row in my last ever HCP net match, was like 6 years ago. You shot 84 off 10, that's no reason to be "demoralized" What demoralized you was 13 shooting 81. Getting in this type of situation in the first place is the culprit.

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  • BM5DBM5D Members Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    edited Jun 18, 2019 2:53am #8

    Match play can be tough and certain players are nearly unbeatable off their handicap in match play format. For example, a 10 handicap who makes a lot of pars but normally cards 2-3 doubles per round. Those doubles can be a death sentence in stroke play and can drive a handicap up, but only represent a lost hole (maybe) in match play. If this type of player gets it around pretty good aside from 2-3 blowup holes and you're giving him strokes, you will have to make natural birdies to win or hope he blows up on his stroke holes.

    While on the topic, 9 hole match play is even crazier. We all know a 10 hdcp who can put together a 38 or a 39 over 9 holes but this is the guy who would normally shoot 45 on the second nine if he was playing 18. Some players can play great off their handicaps across 9 holes to the point that it seems unfair.

  • BM5DBM5D Members Posts: 119 ✭✭✭

    Also, one more thing. Something that never fails is to remind your opponent on the tee that he's getting a stroke on his stroke holes. That usually gets in a lot of heads for one reason or another.

  • i*windowsi*windows Members Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 18, 2019 10:49am #10

    I feel your pain. Last month I played in a mini tournament in the Czech Republic, I'd be playing great upto then, but at the tournament I played like a complete hacker and managed to finish second. I was so demotivated with my game I thought I'd never hit a good shot again. I took a week off, went back to basics and had a lesson and now I'm playing great again. Golf is just **** hard

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  • J13J13 Dad golf Members Posts: 15,561 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Competitive golf is a [email protected]%$$. Lots of range time before a big tourney makes me worse as I start to tinker and change things. Next time try playing a round or two right before the tourney so you can find a groove on the course.

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  • bluedotbluedot Members Posts: 3,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    First of all, one match is obviously a REALLY small sample size; don't take it to heart too much. And you more or less played to you index and BELOW your expected average score, which is typically about 3 strokes above your index. Remember that you can be expected to better you 10 index only once out of every four rounds, give or take; that you were able to play to your handicap in competition is a positive, regardless of the outcome of the match.

    Beyond that, the only thing I could recommend is to try to find a way to play more and to play more for some sort of stakes, even just a few dollars if you aren't already. Putt everything. Play everything down. Take stroke and distance penalties. Be really hard on yourself in practice rounds in terms of the Rules and your score. It's the only way.

    But again, if I my differential was one shot over my index in a competition, especially if I was only playing competitively infrequently, I'd have to go easy on myself and congratulate the guy who beat me THAT DAY.

  • KenRobieKenRobie Members Posts: 130 ✭✭✭

    As Bluedot sad above, range time without risk/reward consequences is usually just a placebo effect come game time. Find a playing partner who plays a littler worse than you but who is also driven to get better. Play straight up match play with what ever handicap allowance you feel is necessary, but make each hole worth something (money even a buck or two works well) to keep your focus and help lower you adrenaline or anxiety, whichever your afflicted with. If practice harder than you play it gets easier as opposed to the other way around.

  • bluedotbluedot Members Posts: 3,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @KenRobie said:
    As Bluedot sad above, range time without risk/reward consequences is usually just a placebo effect come game time. Find a playing partner who plays a littler worse than you but who is also driven to get better. Play straight up match play with what ever handicap allowance you feel is necessary, but make each hole worth something (money even a buck or two works well) to keep your focus and help lower you adrenaline or anxiety, whichever your afflicted with. If practice harder than you play it gets easier as opposed to the other way around.

    If you have a regular foursome, and you aren't already, get them to play a 6-6-6 game for $2 a match; you'd be amazed at how much difference it makes in your focus, and you're restarting the process every six holes. If you play with two other guys, play a Lone Wolf game for a dollar a point; same thing. But play for SOMETHING in practice rounds; otherwise, it gets too easy to start tinkering, or to hit another ball after a bad shot, or whatever. And if you only get to play once a week anyway, it's that much more critical that you do anything that you can to simulate competition.

  • vietnameehvietnameeh HIT BALL FAR NOT BALL STRAIGHT Members Posts: 1,942 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    get out there and get more reps, just don't let the bad rounds get to you! you have to put yourself out there in these situations to know what its like and how your game reacts to it. So you know what to work on next time.
    I use to be +3 handicap golfer right out of college, took a long break (5years) and trying to get back into it since middle of last year. I will be honest I haven't broken 80 in any of the big tournaments I have played this year and last. So I know how terrible it can feel to "grind" a high number lol. It's tough mentally but if you push through it will be rewarding when you find that break through. I can't answer how long it will take as I am still struggling but just get out there and get it!
    Selective Amnesia will be your friend, kind of like our relationships with our significant other LOL

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  • musclefrontmusclefront Members Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    yea match play is so weird as in last week played against a guy straight up and I beat him by one stroke play but he beat me 4+3......so annoying!

  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 8,061 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You didn't play poorly, your opponent played very well. Maybe drop a couple of hours off the range time and get out on the course? Particularly for irons, the range bears very little resemblance to actual playing conditions. How many times in a round will you have a perfect lie, dead flat stance, and no worries about missing a target?

  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
    edited Jun 18, 2019 10:24pm #18

    @BM5D said:
    Match play can be tough and certain players are nearly unbeatable off their handicap in match play format. For example, a 10 handicap who makes a lot of pars but normally cards 2-3 doubles per round. Those doubles can be a death sentence in stroke play and can drive a handicap up, but only represent a lost hole (maybe) in match play. If this type of player gets it around pretty good aside from 2-3 blowup holes and you're giving him strokes, you will have to make natural birdies to win or hope he blows up on his stroke holes.

    While on the topic, 9 hole match play is even crazier. We all know a 10 hdcp who can put together a 38 or a 39 over 9 holes but this is the guy who would normally shoot 45 on the second nine if he was playing 18. Some players can play great off their handicaps across 9 holes to the point that it seems unfair.

    You described me. I am THAT 10. One of the previous 5 rounds on my index was an 80 where I shot 35 (-1) on the front and 45 (+9) on the back. Got "this might be the day...." in my head and came apart on the back trying to hold the round together.

    I think what really got me is that I thought I had turned the corner. My index was a 10, but in my mind I was a temporarily embarrassed 7 that just needed to log some rounds to watch the index drop based on how I had been hitting it. It was the best week of practice I have had in the 3 years I have been playing.

    And then I went out and played like the 10 that I am and not the trending 7 that I thought I was. And then the 13 shows up big time by comparison. Humble pie.

  • rich srich s Members Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Please listen to this advice, you got the talent but your heads a mess. Get the book “mastering golfs mental game”. I don’t read...ever but my plus handicap buddy said this same thing to me over a week ago. Bought it and read it online. I have never had a mental game like I have right now. Still a work progress but I am playing by far the best golf of my life.

  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @DLev45 said:

    @tjw018 said:
    That sucks! An 84 while you're playing off a 10 can't be that bad a score though can it? An 81 as a 13 is probably one of his better rounds of the year I'd imagine...unless this is a really easy course...

    84 is a differential of about 11. 70.5/131 at 6,200. Course is actually designed by Robert Trent Jones, but it isn't a trail course.

    My previous 5 were 79/82/80/81/80 coming in. But the practice sessions this week had far exceeded the sessions the previous weeks were I was hovering around 80, so my expectations were much higher and I thought I was turning a corner. I'm a 10 who thought he was headed towards 7 and it was just a matter of getting enough rounds in.

    You’re a 10 and you shot 79/82/80/81/80??!!

    I’d be the first guy to call you out as a sandbagger. Lol

  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
    edited Jun 19, 2019 9:53pm #21

    @Swisstrader98 said:

    @DLev45 said:

    @tjw018 said:
    That sucks! An 84 while you're playing off a 10 can't be that bad a score though can it? An 81 as a 13 is probably one of his better rounds of the year I'd imagine...unless this is a really easy course...

    84 is a differential of about 11. 70.5/131 at 6,200. Course is actually designed by Robert Trent Jones, but it isn't a trail course.

    My previous 5 were 79/82/80/81/80 coming in. But the practice sessions this week had far exceeded the sessions the previous weeks were I was hovering around 80, so my expectations were much higher and I thought I was turning a corner. I'm a 10 who thought he was headed towards 7 and it was just a matter of getting enough rounds in.

    You’re a 10 and you shot 79/82/80/81/80??!!

    I’d be the first guy to call you out as a sandbagger. Lol

    Well I did say I had been playing well and that I felt I was trending down based on my rounds. But a 79 is only a course differential of 7.5 and an 82 is a differential of 10.

    I have three 84s and two 83s that are counting as well.

  • mantanmantan Members Posts: 2,574 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If match play was predictable, the PGA Match Play events wouldn't end up with so many big names knocked out early. There's just a certain element of randomness that can have a match flip one way or another. Not to mention the subtle psychology of how we play when we are up or two holes or more.
    I smiled when I read about the first hole. I think about our league match play over the years and I swear my record when I lose the first point is better than win I draw first blood. Match play is crazy.

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  • MudguardMudguard Members Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I do you shoot 84 in a match when you lose 5&4? Do you not walk in after the 14th?

  • drscott266drscott266 Members Posts: 375 ✭✭✭✭

    @BM5D said:
    Match play can be tough and certain players are nearly unbeatable off their handicap in match play format. For example, a 10 handicap who makes a lot of pars but normally cards 2-3 doubles per round. Those doubles can be a death sentence in stroke play and can drive a handicap up, but only represent a lost hole (maybe) in match play. If this type of player gets it around pretty good aside from 2-3 blowup holes and you're giving him strokes, you will have to make natural birdies to win or hope he blows up on his stroke holes.

    While on the topic, 9 hole match play is even crazier. We all know a 10 hdcp who can put together a 38 or a 39 over 9 holes but this is the guy who would normally shoot 45 on the second nine if he was playing 18. Some players can play great off their handicaps across 9 holes to the point that it seems unfair.

    This is something I truly believe, as we play lots of 9 hole match play at my course. I have had much the same problem as the OP lately, where I can play well just not always on weds night when I need to. I have learned a while ago that I can shoot or beat my handicap and still lose money to someone, that's why I just don't don't gamble much.

  • LeftDaddyLeftDaddy Members Posts: 764 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Similar story here. Lost a match 6 and 4 yesterday. I’m a bit down about it, mainly because my game is trending poorly. I’m a 9 but am playing like a 15. I have just enough 80s to keep the index where it is but the other 3 rounds are anywhere from 85-99. I’m just really struggling with my irons.

    Yesterday, the guy that beat me played really well (and he admitted as much), so hat’s off to him. But I played like crap. I was actually mostly good off the tee and short game was really good. But I didn’t hit a single good iron shot. I had no confidence over any shot with an iron in my hand.

    I’m so frustrated because I’ve always been athletic and good at things that require skill, yet I cannot for the life of me break out of my now 10 month long golf slump. Oh well...

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  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭

    @rich s said:
    Please listen to this advice, you got the talent but your heads a mess. Get the book “mastering golfs mental game”. I don’t read...ever but my plus handicap buddy said this same thing to me over a week ago. Bought it and read it online. I have never had a mental game like I have right now. Still a work progress but I am playing by far the best golf of my life.

    I actually took your advice here and bought this audiobook, and he addressed a situation that actually happened to me, right down to the score.

    Ironically, he describes a 10 handicap who shoots a 35 on the front 9, only to come apart on the back and shoot 45 being rattled by success and getting in a fearful mindset of not messing up, normalizing his score.

    Two weeks ago, I did exactly that. 35(-1) was my best nine ever, and I shot 45 on the back and beat myself up over shooting 80.

  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
    edited Jun 20, 2019 2:08pm #27

    @Mudguard said:
    I do you shoot 84 in a match when you lose 5&4? Do you not walk in after the 14th?

    No, we just finished out the round. That 13 cap sure as **** wasn't going into the clubhouse after 14 with breaking 80 in reach. And I wouldn't dare suggest it.

    He had only ever done it once before, and I know how giddy I get when I think I'm going to shoot in the 70s. Poor guy shot 3-over for the last 4 holes with a double on 17.

  • rich srich s Members Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DLev45 said:

    @rich s said:
    Please listen to this advice, you got the talent but your heads a mess. Get the book “mastering golfs mental game”. I don’t read...ever but my plus handicap buddy said this same thing to me over a week ago. Bought it and read it online. I have never had a mental game like I have right now. Still a work progress but I am playing by far the best golf of my life.

    I actually took your advice here and bought this audiobook, and he addressed a situation that actually happened to me, right down to the score.

    Ironically, he describes a 10 handicap who shoots a 35 on the front 9, only to come apart on the back and shoot 45 being rattled by success and getting in a fearful mindset of not messing up, normalizing his score.

    Two weeks ago, I did exactly that. 35(-1) was my best nine ever, and I shot 45 on the back and beat myself up over shooting 80.

    If it goes the way I think it will, you will be blown away at how much the mental game will improve your scores. Just focus on how you are mentally, tune out the actual score and you will find a zone that allows you to play some incredible golf. Have zero expectations and convince yourself that nerves are good. I get more speed when I am nervous and it can help me focus more. I used to think nerves were a bad thing.

  • DLev45DLev45 Members Posts: 171 ✭✭✭

    @rich s said:

    @DLev45 said:

    @rich s said:
    Please listen to this advice, you got the talent but your heads a mess. Get the book “mastering golfs mental game”. I don’t read...ever but my plus handicap buddy said this same thing to me over a week ago. Bought it and read it online. I have never had a mental game like I have right now. Still a work progress but I am playing by far the best golf of my life.

    I actually took your advice here and bought this audiobook, and he addressed a situation that actually happened to me, right down to the score.

    Ironically, he describes a 10 handicap who shoots a 35 on the front 9, only to come apart on the back and shoot 45 being rattled by success and getting in a fearful mindset of not messing up, normalizing his score.

    Two weeks ago, I did exactly that. 35(-1) was my best nine ever, and I shot 45 on the back and beat myself up over shooting 80.

    If it goes the way I think it will, you will be blown away at how much the mental game will improve your scores. Just focus on how you are mentally, tune out the actual score and you will find a zone that allows you to play some incredible golf. Have zero expectations and convince yourself that nerves are good. I get more speed when I am nervous and it can help me focus more. I used to think nerves were a bad thing.

    There is some good content, no doubt. I haven't gotten that far into it, but I do often fall into the "fixed mindset" where I say stuff like "I'm just awful out of the bunker. Might as well be a two stroke penalty for me."

  • MudguardMudguard Members Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @DLev45 said:

    @Mudguard said:
    I do you shoot 84 in a match when you lose 5&4? Do you not walk in after the 14th?

    No, we just finished out the round. That 13 cap sure as **** wasn't going into the clubhouse after 14 with breaking 80 in reach. And I wouldn't dare suggest it.

    He had only ever done it once before, and I know how giddy I get when I think I'm going to shoot in the 70s. Poor guy shot 3-over for the last 4 holes with a double on 17.

    Hmm, I wouldn't consider it a personal best if it happened during matchplay. Golf is too different, ramming a six footer when it's for a half, a three foot putt conceded, taking an iron off a tee after my opponent hits one OB..
    Also depends where the clubhouse is!! It it's miles I'd probably play in.

  • LeoLeo99LeoLeo99 Members Posts: 4,250 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I feel your pain. 8 GIR is good. I hit 12 GIR last week and shot 84. It's always something.

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